CASES of the coronavirus are on the up across the UK and experts have urged people experiencing symptoms to get tested.
The government states that you should get tested within the first three days of experiencing symptoms. This is where to find your nearest testing centre.
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While we still don’t have a vaccine for the coronavirus, testing is one way to stop the spread and allows local authorities to pick up trends in how the virus moves through a community.
This also helps when it comes to implementing local lockdowns, as has been seen in places such as Leicester, Oldham, Bolton and Greater Manchester.
From September 15, Birmingham is the latest area to go into a “lightning lockdown”.
Matt Hancock said that, going into winter, mass testing is a “really, really important drive that we have across government”.
A form of mass at-home testing could see up to 10 million tests carried out every day from the comfort of people’s own homes.
At present there are 50 places in the UK where you can get a coronavirus swab test.
The regional sites have been set up by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC).
There are also an additional 25 test sites that have been set up for NHS staff.
The DHSC is working in partnership with NHS Trust in order to provide satellite tests for staff.
You can order a free home test kit from the NHS website.
People can visit testing centres up and down the country [/caption]
The 25 coronavirus testing sites for NHS staff
NHS staff can access a satellite test at 25 locations
You can also get tested in an NHS hospital, at a regional test centre in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Satellite centres, or at mobile testing units.
Government tests are free but there are a range of tests you can also pay for.
The testing put in place by the government has previously been criticised as it was revealed that some were being forced to drive close to 100 miles for tests.
Areas with low infection rates have had their testing capacity reduced, so swabs could be redistributed to emerging hotspots.
Baroness Dido Harding expressed her apologies to those who had to travel away from their homes but insisted that the vast majority of people had been able to secure slots nearby.
The Department for Health and Social Care’s website is currently showing a warning to people who are trying to secure a slot.
It states: “This service is currently very busy. If you are unable to book a test now or the location and time is not convenient for you, please try again in a few hours when more tests should be available.
“If no tests are available online, do not call helplines to get a test. You will not be able to get a test through the helplines.”
Despite the delays the department claims that test capacity is at 350,000 a day.
Data published today states that infections rates across the UK are on the up.
Data from Imperial College London estimates that the R rate in England is currently at 1.7 with cases doubling every week.
Mr Hancock warned the spike in infections – fuelled by young Brits – justifies the strict new rule of six.
Imperial College London experts tested more than 150,000 volunteers since August 22.
They found 13 people per 10,000 were infected in England in the fortnight up to September 7.
It compares to just four per 10,000 between July 24 and August 11.
The Imperial study suggests cases are now doubling every seven to eight days, while England’s R rate is 1.7 – and could be as high as 2.5 in the North East.
It means for every person who catches the killer bug, another 1.7 people are infected leading to exponential growth.
Data from the ONS revealed that cases of the virus have soared by 60 per cent.
The figures stated that in the period from August 30 to September 5 cases were up from 2,000 a day to 3,200 a day – a fraction of the 100,000 daily estimated at the height of the pandemic.
These rates reflect private households in England.